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fabula narratur : congestis undique saccis

70 indormis inhians, et tamquam parcere sacris cogeris aut pictis tamquam gaudere tabellis. nescis quo valeat nummus,

uem praebeat usum ? panis ematur, holus, vini sextarius ; adde quis humana sibi doleat natura negatis.

75 an vigilare metu exanimem, noctesque diesque formidare malos fures, incendia, servos, ne te compilent fugientes, hoc iuvat? horum semper ego optarim pauperrimus esse bonorum. At si condoluit temptatum frigore corpus

80 aut alius casus lecto te adfixit,2 habes qui adsideat, fomenta paret, medicum roget, ut te suscitet ac reddat gnatis carisque propinquis." non uxor salvum te vult,4 non filius ; omnes vicini oderunt, noti, pueri atque puellae.

85 miraris, cum tu argento post omnia ponas, si nemo praestet quem non merearis amorem ? an sis cognatos, nullo Natura labore quos tibi dat, retinere velis servareque amicos, infelix operam perdas, ut si quis asellum

90 in Campo doceat parentem currere frenis ?

Denique sit finis quaerendi, cumque habeas plus, pauperiem metuas minus et finire laborem incipias, parto quod avebas, ne facias quod Ummidius quidam.? non longa est fabula: dives 95

1 optarem, I. 2 adfixit K, so Bentley and most editors : adfixit most mss. 3 gnatis reddat Goth.

4 te vult salvum D. an si] at si K: an sic Goth. 6 habebas B.

? quidam] qui tam Bentley. 10


the poor

the name, and the tale is told of you. You sleep with open mouth on money-bags piled up from all sides, and must perforce keep hands off as if they were hallowed, or take delight in them as if painted pictures. Don't you know what money is for, what end it serves ? You may buy bread, greens, a measure of wine, and such other things as would mean pain to our human nature, if withheld. What, to lie awake half-dead with fear, to be in terror night and day of wicked thieves, of fire, of slaves, who may rob you

and run away—is this so pleasant ? In such blessings I could wish ever to be poorest of

80 “ But if your body is seized with a chill and racked with pain, or some other mishap has pinned you to your bed, have you some one to sit by you, to get lotions ready, to call in the doctor so as to raise you up and restore you to your children and dear kinsmen ?" No, your wife does not want you well, nor does your son : every one hates you, neighbours and acquaintances, boys and girls. Can you. wonder, when you put money above all else, that nobody pays you the love you do not earn ? Or, when Nature gives you kinsfolk without trouble, if you sought to hold and keep their love, would it be as fruitless a waste of effort, as if one were to train an ass to race upon the Campus a obedient to the rein ?

92 In short, set bounds to the quest of wealth, and as you increase your means let your fear of poverty lessen, and when


heart's desire, begin to bring your toil to an end, lest you fare like a certain Ummidius—’tis a short story—so a The Campus Martius.

have won your

ut metiretur nummos ; ita sordidus, ut se
non umquam servo melius vestiret ; ad usque
supremum tempus, ne se penuria victus
opprimeret, metuebat. at hunc liberta securi
divisit medium, fortissima Tyndaridarum.

100 Quid mi igitur suades ? ut vivam Naevius aut sic ut Nomentanus ? ” pergis pugnantia secum frontibus adversis componere. non ego, avarum cum veto te fieri, vappam iubeo ac nebulonem. est inter Tanain quiddam socerumque Viselli : 105 est modus in rebus, sunt certi denique fines, quos ultra citraque nequit consistere rectum.

Illuc, unde abii, redeo, qui nemo, utl avarus, se probet ac potius laudet diversa sequentis, quodque aliena capella gerat distentius uber, 110 tabescat, neque se maiori pauperiorum turbae comparet, hunc atque hunc superare laboret. sic festinanti semper locupletior obstat, ut, cum carceribus missos rapit ungula currus, instat equis auriga suos2 vincentibus, illum 115 praeteritum temnens extremos inter euntem. inde fit ut raro, qui se vixisse beatum

1 qui nemo ut V: nemon ut mss., Porph.: cum nemo ut Keck, Vollmer. For other attempts to improve the text see Knapp, loc. cit. pp. 102 ff.

2 suis aDEM.

a i.e. instead of counting it. The idea was proverbial, cf. Xen. Hellen. iii. 2. 27 ; Petronius, Sat. 37.

• Clytemnestra, daughter of Tyndareus, slew her husband Agamemnon with an axe. Possibly the freedwoman's name was Tyndaris.

. Both of these names were used by Lucilius. The men represent the spendthrift type.

101 K

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rich that he measured his money," so miserly that he dressed no better than a slave; up to his last hour he feared he would die of starvation. Yet a freedwoman cleft him in twain with an axe, bravest of the Tyndarid breed.

What, then, would you have me do ? Live as a Naevius or a Nomentanus ? You go on to set opposites in head to head conflict with each other. When I call on you not to be a miser, I am not bidding you become a worthless prodigal. There is some mean between a Tanais and the fatherin-law of Visellius. There is measure in all things. There are, in short, fixed bounds, beyond and short of which right can find no place.

108 I return to my starting-point, how it comes that no man because of his greed is self-contented, but rather does each praise those who follow other paths, pines away because his neighbour's goat shows a more distended udder, and, instead of matching himself with the greater crowd of poorer men, strives to surpass first one and then another. In such a race there is ever a richer in your way. 'Tis f as when chariots are let loose from the barriers and swept onwards behind the hoofed steeds : hard on the horses that outstrip his own presses the charioteer, caring naught for that other whom he has passed and left in the rear. Thus it comes that seldom can we find one who says he has had a happy

« The figure is taken, not so much from gladiators, as from rams or bulls. Knapp takes componere as

reconcile" (loc. cit. p. 101).

e Tanais is said to have been a freedman of Maecenas. The other person is unknown. * This passage closely resembles Virgil, Georg. i. 512 ff.


dicat et exacto contentus tempore vital cedat uti conviva satur, reperire queamus.

Iam satis est. ne me Crispini scrinia lippi compilasse putes, verbum non amplius addam.


1 vitae D.

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Cf. Lucretius, iii. 938,
Cur non ut plenus vitae conviva recedis,
Aequo animoque capis securam, stulte, quietem ?


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